Thursday, March 19, 2009

The House That Ruth Built Gets A Facelift ... And A New Address

Yankee Stadium is an elite member of a dying tradition – traditional ball parks. When the 2008 regular season halted the Yankees chance at post-season playtime, the third oldest park in the country – Yankee Stadium – was demolished.

Any baseball fan watching the final game at Yankee Stadium wept when the umpire recorded his final out. Baseball traditionalists and Yankee fans alike should be thanking the baseball gods in heaven above for the fact that the original House that Ruth built will not be a distant memory. The New Yankee Stadium is a nicer carbon copy of the older stadium and will help keep the memory of the greatest names that played there over its 85 year run in the game alive.

Chicago has Wrigley and Boston has Fenway, but any fan (besides Red Sox nation) can admit that Yankee Stadium has prestige, class, and history written all over it.

Jesse Rodman, 64, of New Rochelle, New York was raised by his father to do two things: love baseball and worship the Yankees. “The Yankees are a large part of my upbringing. We would go to the game and there were so many great deli's in the area. It is just a wonderful atmosphere to be in.”

There’s no need for fans to shed a tear over the loss of the original House that Ruth built. The most prominent features of the stadium were recreated to maintain the dignity of a ball club that created baseball history in the Bronx.

The ornate overhanging facade in the outfield and the Monument Park in center field were recreated in the architecture of the new park and will remain as the stadium's most popular features.

Mets fans didn't have such luck with their big move from Shea Stadium to Citi Field but at least George Steinbrenner was smart enough to realize the havoc and chaos that would envelop the New York state population if Yankee Stadium ceased to exist.

"I see nothing wrong in rebuilding what has been an icon all these years," Rodman said. "Fans may feel familiar and comfortable with the similar surroundings."

All fans want to see is the artistry in the flawless execution of a double play, watching a runner tag up at third base in order to score after the outfielder catches the fly ball, and gazing in awe as that small white orb knocks straight into space off the bat of some big leaguer reaching for the grand stand while in the company of fellow die-hards. They'll get all that and more with the New Yankee Stadium.

Who knows, maybe christening the new stadium will bring some luck to the men in the pin stripes. After all, it has been quite awhile since baseballs most successful team made it to a World Series, let alone the post-season.

The New Yankee Stadium will open its doors April 3 against the 2008 Central Division Champion Chicago Cubs for a two game stand and will open the regular season against the American League Central's Cleveland Indians for a four game series.

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